Grace Place Wellness Ministries

Grace Place Wellness Ministries

A ministry that nurtures joy and promotes health to church workers from the experience of a doctor and the heart of a pastor.

Inspiring Wellness

Pastors spend almost every waking hour caring for other people. But who cares for the needs and health of pastors? That’s how Grace Place Wellness Ministries got its start.

Dr. John Eckridge noticed a startling trend among his pastor patients. While they came to him for physical ailments, it became clear their issues were more than physical. Ministry was taking a toll on every aspect of the pastors’ lives, leading to burnout, stress, and a loss of joy.

Concerned with this pattern, Dr. Eckridge founded Grace Place Wellness Ministries in 1999 to help church workers and their families find joy and health.

Partnered with Darrell Zimmerman, former pastor and executive director of Grace Place, the ministry works to help pastors and church workers nurture joy and health from a holistic perspective.

“Pastors have a great practice of asking ‘how are you doing’ but never stopping to ask ‘how am I doing?’” said Darrell. And this was the question the ministry itself asked as they looked ahead with a desire to take Grace Place Wellness to the next level.

They needed a clear vision for the future.

Grace Place Wellness Ministries

Clarifying Vision, Communicating Values

Grace Place Wellness Ministries has long been a ministry and asset within the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), ministering to and reaching thousands of pastors. They are unique among organizations because they are a ministry to church work professionals that wasn’t born in a church but in a doctor’s office.

Long before preventative self-care became a topic of general concern, Grace Place was coaching and ministering to pastors and church workers. “If church workers are thinking about caring about themselves in all ways, they can throw themselves into the ministry work fully when the Lord calls,” Darrell said.

But despite their wide-spread ministry, it became clear many people struggled with confusion that Grace Place was a therapeutic organization instead of a preventative wellness ministry. Some also mistakenly perceived them as a retreat center or a nursing home!

With a desire to expand ministry and share more helpful content, Darrell reached out to ArtSpeak. He knew they needed something fresh to help engage the right audience and make their vision for the future a reality.

A Total Rebrand

We were eager to partner with Grace Place because of their ministry to pastors.

The Grace Place team started by working through their mission, vision, values, and strategy for the future with ArtSpeak co-founder Jason Bowman. Once established, they moved to Strategic Messaging to find language that solidified who they were in the eyes of their primary audience: LCMS pastors about five to seven years into ministry.

When it came to designing their logo, we knew they wanted something tactile that reflected the experience of being on one of their retreats. One of our designers, Uriah Fracassi, took a Chinese ink brush and a stack of paper and brainstormed ideas. The end result was a beautiful hand-brushed G.

Combined with earthy hues, we also used fonts to help tell the story of Grace Place Wellness. We chose a primary font, Inknut Antiqua, to resonate with their Lutheran roots and Rubik font to point to their future.

We incorporated all of this into a brand guide to arm them with tools for content and design consistency moving forward. Their new brand was used as the basis to create a new website.

Grace Place Wellness Ministries

We also helped Dr. Zimmerman launch his new book Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry, which reached the Kindle #1 Bestseller list on launch day.

Then, we helped Grace Place establish an online community for Lutheran pastors, where they could gather in a digital space once a week to talk about the principles of wellness. We were able to launch this initiative during the pandemic, creating an encouraging haven and connection point for pastors all over the country during one of the most challenging seasons for church leadership.

Website

Connected to Community

With a new brand, website, book launch, and connected community, the Grace Place team has taken major strides toward their vision for the future—“to see church workers from all Christian denominations engage in preventative wellness attitudes and practices to ensure a flourishing ministry career.”

As of January 2022, Darrell is completely booked for speaking engagements with pastors and church workers. Grace Place Wellness also launched Dr. Zimmerman’s latest book, Reclaiming the Joy of a Church Vocation, connected with even more people around the world, and sent a daily devotional.

Recently, they were acquired by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, which will allow them to grow their impact and provide critical care to LCMS districts, churches, and schools.

Want a look behind the scenes? See the mood board that inspired this brand.

Grace Place Wellness Ministries
“Our small not for profit was poised for significant expansion when we connected with ArtSpeak Creative. We could not be more pleased with the help they provided in completely reworking our messaging, branding, website and social media outreach. They helped with the release of our first book, and it went to #1 on Amazon! ArtSpeak also helped us launch our online community, an idea we have never considered before. Thanks, ArtSpeak: Kirk, Jason, Cory and the whole team contributed to this effort. We’re flourishing in pursuit of our mission as never before!Darrell Zimmerman Executive Director Grace Place Wellness Ministries